Students in River Ridge High School teacher Judi Haggerty’s Career Pathway Engineering and Technology program race their CO2 cars. As part of the lesson, students design, build and race CO2 cartridge-propelled cars. Students pictured include Ian Brownlee, Saddiell Deras Maldonado, Ryan Yarber, Aubrey Gallagher, Michael Merritt, Michael Steffman and Matthieu Buck.
The Cherokee County School District offers 38 Career Pathway high school programs, which provide students with a wide selection of job exploration and preparation electives. Through CCSD Pathway Profiles, we’ll regularly share highlights with you from one of these programs. This week’s profile focuses on Engineering and Technology, which is offered at Cherokee, Creekview, River Ridge and Woodstock High Schools …
River Ridge High School senior Arman Aryafar believes his Career Pathway Engineering and Technology classes not only prepared him for career success, but also life success.
“It fits with my future plans because it teaches problem solving. In life, there will always be bumps in the road, but you need to learn how to overcome them and solve them,” he said. “I think this program has taught me that over the years.”
Judi Haggerty, a 22-year teacher, has taught the program at River Ridge HS since 2012 and sees the same benefits for her students.
“I have always had an interest in problem solving and realizing new ways of doing things. I believe that is one of the most important skills that students can take away from my classes,” she said. “I also feel that engineering lends itself to so many different aspects of life that students who might not have any interest in engineering before the pathway, might well look toward it after they finish the pathway.”
Her classes are known for their engaging hands-on activities ranging from the architectural engineering unit, through which students use hand drafting and software programs to design a project that they then build as a model, and the CO2 cars, for which students design, build and race CO2 cartridge-propelled cars that then can be entered into Technology Student Association (TSA) competition. [Click here to see more photos from her classes.]
Many of Ms. Haggerty’s students have pursued careers in the field, and one of her favorite success stories is of a recent graduate. The former student, who now is studying engineering at the University of Georgia, “came into River Ridge quiet and shy, and left as a proud proponent for females in engineering and technology.” During her time at River Ridge, the student led the TSA chapter as its president for two years, served as a student ambassador for Georgia’s Be Pro Be Proud program that encourages students to pursue skilled professional careers, and interned at Roytec Industries.
“Career classes allow students to become prepared for life after high school, no matter what their future holds,” Ms. Haggerty said. “Career classes teach skills that are critical to life.”
Within the Pathway, classes offered include: foundations of engineering and technology, engineering concepts, engineering applications. Students can earn OSHA industry certifications. They can compete in Technology Student Association state and national career skills contests.
This Pathway prepares students for careers including, but not limited to: aerospace engineer, architectural engineer, automotive engineer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, electronics engineer, industrial engineer, manufacturing engineer, marine engineer, materials engineer, mechanical engineer, petroleum engineer, wind energy engineer, civil engineering technician, electrical engineering technician, industrial engineering technician.
The average income range for careers in this Pathway in Georgia is $51,000 to $150,000. Local and area employers for this Pathway include, but are not limited to: Universal Alloy Corporation, Roytec Industries, NOVA Engineering and Environmental, Raydeo, AT&T, Selectek Inc., Atlas Technical Consultants Inc., ReLogistics, LLC, Verizon, The Walsh Group, Actalent, Dell, Belnick LLC, CSC Design, Inc., General Motors, Crane Co., Lockheed Martin, Enercon Services Inc., Artivion Inc.